June Honeymoon Itinerary Help

Oct 26th, 2004, 01:05 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 22
June Honeymoon Itinerary Help

First of all, I would like to thank everyone that participates on this message board for the wealth of information. I have been reading the forums for about a month now, and have learned SOOOO much. I have done a lot of research and read trip reports for the time of year, including the very detailed report by eenusa, but want to get a sanity check and a little bit of advise.

My fiance' and I are going to Southern Africa for our honeymoon, leaving the states the 5th of June next year. The following is the current proposed itinerary that I have to decide on (in this order):

Cape Town for 3 nights (including the night we arrive in country, so 2 full days)
Victoria Falls 1 night
Savuti Camp 3 nights
Kwetsani 2 nights
Chitabe Trails 2 nights
Maun-Johannesburg and overnight in Johannesburg then home

Due to the nights that are available at the camps, that is what the current plan is. The travel agent has recommended that we do the 3 night Savuti, but by doing this, we have to give up a night in Vic Falls, meaning we really only get less than 24 hours there. I was thinking of giving up a Savuti night and adding a Vic Falls night, and tacking on another night at Chitabe Trails at the end of the Safari portion. We really want to do the elephant Safari in Vic Falls area, as well as the sundowner cruise and walk around the falls.

Any suggestions/comments welcome!!!

piperpilot is offline  
Oct 26th, 2004, 03:40 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 19
Congratulations on your forthcoming marriage. Cape Town is beautiful but will be cold in June. I recommend Kensington Place a beautiful 8 room hotel in a great part of town. I went to Vic Falls in 1999 and stayed at the Vic falls Safari Lodge. My experience was that in one day out the next was sufficient, though if you are doing the elephant safari you will need more time.

I just came back from Savuti and three nights is a must. If you can, request Brian or Chantel as your guide and prepare to take more pictures of elephants than you will know what to do with in the hide. A magical experience.

Haven't been to Kwetsani or Chitabe, but the game in the Delta is great, you might want to ask about flood levels at Chitabe in June, it may or may not be a concern.

Do you have to overnight in Joburg? From my experience that is usually pretty dismal and you just feel like you are wastimng time. Better to get up at 5;30 go on a game drive, then fly to Maun, Maun to Joburg, kill three or four hours in the airport and catch your flight that day. I usually fly through London so the evening flight is the only one available, but when I flew direct to SA from the US it was a night flight.

Hope this helps.
winomatt is offline  
Oct 27th, 2004, 12:45 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Piperpilot,

Congratulations on your approaching wedding.

Next, let me be the one to point out to you that you are trying too hard to check off too many places and that this does not sound like a very enjoyable regular holiday, yet less a very enjoyable honeymoon.

What is the rush??? You are going to 5 places in 11 days, for an average of 2.2 days per destination. Day of enjoying a place, day of travel, day of enjoying a place, day of travel, etc. A good amount of your honeymoon is going to be spent enjoying transfers...and packing/unpacking. Each place will not even have time to do your laundry, not the prettiest sight for your honeymoon.

I agree with the previous respondent that stated that Cape Town in June will not be at its best. While I was lucky in early June, 2003, with only one day out of five worth of rain, that is not usually the case.

With so much emphasis on Botswana, I would suggest that you remove Cape Town entirely from your itinerary. If your trip allows for it, why not start directly in Victoria Falls, and with more than a single night. Those who suggest Victoria Falls for a single night have never been to Matetsi, a wonderful game reserve only 40 kms. outside of Victoria Falls. 3 nights here would be a magical way to kick off your honeymoon.

http://www.ccafrica.com/reserve-1-id-2-9

That will leave 8 entire nights for the rest of your honeymoon, and in place of Chitabe, you may want to stay at the very nearby Sandibe, a CCAfrica property, just like Matetsi, as this will open up some discounting if you stay 6 nights in CC Africa properties. Plus, CCAfrica provides the guide & tracker system while Wilderness Safaris (Chitabe, Kwetsani & Savuti) does not provide the guide & tracker system. Which company, as a result, do you think will provide the better game drives, especially the better NIGHT game drives?

CCAfrica also features another property in the area named Nxabega, and this is more of a water camp (while Sandibe is more of a land camp).

I am reading into all this that you are arriving at night initially, which makes Cape Town even less an attractive option, unless you add another night. Remember, Cape Town is going to be a minimum of a 5 hour trip away from Victoria Falls. If you are American, I just don't see where flying from 15 - 20 hours all the way to Cape Town and then 5 hours more after only two full days in Cape Town is any value.

Just my opinion, but I would slow things WAAAAYYYYYY down to something like this:

Cape Town, 4 nights

Matetsi (Victoria Falls), 3 nights

Sandibe (Moremi), 4 nights

Michelangelo Hotel in Joburg, 1 night (or better yet, if you have an evening flight, take that night and add it to Cape Town at the beginning for 5 nights in Cape Town, or spend 3 nights at Sandibe and 2 nights at Nxabega).

After a lot of Southern Africa travel, I am no fan of short visits to a place, as if you are picking the right places, it is with a heavy heart that you must pick up and move to the next place. There is no prize to being able to check off so many places in so short a timeframe. Stop and smell the roses!
Roccco is offline  
Oct 27th, 2004, 02:21 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 34
Congrats!!!

We just were married on September 25th and spent just over 2 weeks in Africa.

We were in East Africa and stayed at all CCAfrica properties. Let me just say that CCAFRICA is AMAZING.

Talk about service, great food and romance. They didn't let us forget for a second we were on our honeymoon...private dinners and special drives were so over the top that i was moved to tears on several occasions.

I cannot say enough about the company, the drivers, the staff etc.

STYLEORACLE posted a brillant review of her trip that mimicked ours...do a search.

I would say book CCA without a doubt.

-Melissa
toccare_girl is offline  
Oct 27th, 2004, 04:24 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,715
Congrats Piperpilot!

That should be a sensational honeymoon itinerary. I think it looks excellent as it stands and it would be just as good if not better if you added a night to Vic Falls since you are interested in some of the activities, dropped one at Savuti, and added one to Chitabe Trails.

I appreciate what Roccco is saying about rushing around but I did the same spacing of nights less Cape Town, thus more rushed and we loved it. Obviously it would be great to stay more nights but you have to work with what you can. The travel between those Botswana Camps will be very short. If I recall correctly 15-30 minutes max flight time between the camps. Although packing up is not ideal it would be criminal to go to Botswana and not visit the diverse areas of the Savuti and the Delta. Staying only in Moremi would be missing out bigtime as the Savuti/Linyanti is a very special area that is completely different from the delta.

Lastly, although I agree it would be better to have a tracker with your guide an even more important factor is to be in the best locations for wildlife and Chitabe and Savuti both consistently deliver some of the absolute best wildlife reports -- especially of predators, including the elusive African wild dog. Wilderness Safaris offers an incredible combination of settings, service, and wildlife viewing.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Oct 27th, 2004, 09:32 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Predator Biologist,

Thanks for your feedback...I think.

Just when I thought I had it all figured out, after reading the monthly reports from Savuti on WS website, I would probably be best off to strongly consider a 3 night stay. The elephant hide alone may make the trip worthwhile.

Matetsi (3)
Savuti (3)
Sandibe (3)

That works for me.

Congratulations on your approaching wedding!
Roccco is offline  
Oct 28th, 2004, 04:20 PM
  #7  
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 22
Thanks everyone for the info so far. Here is how things are looking at this point, after some juggling around:

5 Leave Home
6 Arrive Cape Town
6-9 Cape Town (3 Nights)
9-11 Victoria Falls (2 Nights)
11-14 Savuti (3 Nights)
14-17 Chitabe Trails (3 Nights)
17-19 Kwetsani (2 Nights)
19 Flight Home
20 Arrive Home

If the price comes out in our budget this is what we are going with. Taking the advise to spend a little more time in each place I think will be well worth it. After all, this is a once in a lifetime event. Now, just holding out for the costs. Only thing that might change is reduce by one day at Savuti.


piperpilot is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 07:13 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 24
Hi Piperpilot,

I see you were recently married and went to Southern Africa for honeymoon. I also see that you are a pilot from Florida. I am a pilot and I am moving to Florida with my fiancee after we honeymoon in Southern Africa. Would be interested in hearing more about your experiences. My direct email is [email protected]. Marc
tabascov is offline  

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